Deleuze’s Nietzsche in Palestine

Richard Shapiro, Anthropologist and Educationist

Title: Deleuze’s Nietzsche in Palestine

Abstract: The perpetrator is among the myriad subjects constituted within the history of colonial and Eurocentric nation-state formation. The nation-building process constitutes perpetrators, alongside citizens, enemies, refugees, natives, and others. The construction of the perpetrator-ruler is inseparable from the specific histories that produce the pre-perpetrator subjects who struggle to attain rule within a new state. These histories contribute to shaping the particular ways that perpetrators rule within nation-states, including settler colonies. The move from subjugated peoples to perpetrator-rulers who govern is an indeterminate process of transition that deserves critical diagnosis. This talk proposes that such a diagnosis benefits from the philosophical insights of Deleuze’s 1962 work, Nietzsche and Philosophy. The use of this text is augmented through conversation with Arendt, Fanon, Foucault, Derrida, Said, postcolonial feminisms, and queer and critical race theories. Specifically, the following questions are addressed: How does Deleuze’s Nietzsche facilitate an understanding of the constitution of the Ashkenazi Jewish male as perpetrator-ruler in the state of Israel and in the occupation of Palestine? How is the constitution of this particular perpetrator-subject complicated by the Ashkenazi Jewish history of oppression in Christian Europe? How is a cultural inheritance forged through histories of oppression and resistance remade in pursuit of nation as marker of agency, autonomy, strength, and identity?  How are these dynamics of subject constitution gendered, sexualized, and raced? What is sacrificed in the frenzied, methodical, pursuit of nation?  How may an analysis of these dynamics struggle for hospitality toward difference, new modes of subjectivation, and just forms of polity and governance?